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Topics - BrendaP

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1
Current Projects / Christmas tree skirt
« on: November 14, 2017, 22:12:47 PM »
I've just finished this.  The new tree is only 5' high so the skirt is fairly small, about 30" diameter and it's colour matched to the tree baubles.

There's no wadding, just a layer of old flannelette sheet with FMQ squiggles.  Eight diamond shaped nine-patche blocks and nine square nine-patche blocks, the extra one is hidden underneath the other one beside the opening and fastened together with large press-studs

2
Patterns & Fitting / Pattern for tartan/plaid
« on: November 06, 2017, 00:12:52 AM »
I fancy a tartan dress and have just ordered 3m of this.

Now I'm looking for a suitable pattern; or patterns as it could be a hack between two.  I want sleeves and a flared skirt, but can't decide whether it would be best to go for circular/semi circle or to keep the hemline straight.

Suggestions please - the piccies are just a few pulled from 'tinterweb

3
Patterns & Fitting / Cotton + Chalk patterns
« on: November 05, 2017, 23:05:01 PM »
Has anyone used Cotton + Chalk patterns? - the ones which come free with Simply Sewing magazine.
What is the fit like?

I have their Nina Dress pattern, a button through princess line dress and I've already spotted a mistake in the instructions.  View A has sleeves, view B is sleeveless with armhole facings.  Cutting instructions for both views would have you cut the facings from interfacing  :S

4
House Beautiful / Curtains finished
« on: October 28, 2017, 00:22:01 AM »
I've finally finished sewing the curtains for my new study/craft room.

It's the first time I've done goblet pleats, it blunted the needle but the 201 managed 6 layers of fabric, 2 layers of lining and 2 layers of buckram  :vintage:  though she did need a few helping pushes on the fly wheel to get started.

So new curtains to match DD's finds of a lampshade, (for which I have just ordered a floor lamp base) three cushion covers and a small blind from which I've made a wase paper bin cover which she had under her worktable for four years!

We still have the gas meter and boiler to box in and the skirting boards to paint before the flooring arrives in two weeks time, but it's getting there. 0_0

5
Today... / Saturday 14th October
« on: October 14, 2017, 06:53:47 AM »
Good morning everyone.

I am up early - still dark so don't know what the weather is like but the forecast is for ver mild, even warm.

Kent Family History Society's AGM today down in Canterbury today which is why I'm up so early.  Although I, as Secretary, don't need to be there particularly early, Ian who I'll be travelling with does as he looks after the sales table and my preference to start early rather than drive 40-50 miles each way on my own.

6
House Beautiful / Curtain fabric serendipity
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:23:13 AM »
I've been looking online at curtain fabrics and I quite liked this but expensive and the long vertical repeat would be very wasteful to match the pattern.

Then I found this which I like just as much and the 64cm pattern repeat will mean very little wastage.

I emailed DD a list of possible fabrics, including these two, to see if she has any of them in her pattern books.  She doesn't have a sample of the second one, but can get it (at trade price  :*).  So I've sent for a sample which I hope will arrive in today's post. 

Then yesterday evening she sent me a photo of a lampshade which she found under her work table!  It's been there since she relaunched her business 4 years ago and indeed if you look at her website http://www.ruffetsinteriors.co.uk/interiors  there's a photo of her inside a marquee standing alongside a lot of sample bits and pieces made for the occasion and it includes that lampshade!  Methinks it will soon have a proper home - along with a couple of cushions.  :loveit:

7
Today... / Tuesday 3rd October
« on: October 03, 2017, 08:06:10 AM »
Can't believe I'm first up today!

Hair appointment at 9:00 then back home to see how dusty it is - kitchen ceiling coming down today.

8
Vintage Machines / Vintage machine cover
« on: October 01, 2017, 10:26:45 AM »
My 1953 Aluminium 201 came with a sturdy plywood carry case which is covered in a hessian type fabric, really well glued down and varnished over, but the colour is, to my eyes, really yukky.  It's rather yellower than the photo appears.

I am thinking of moving that machine downstairs into the new room once all the building work is finished but I wouldn't want that case on-show!  I'm thinking of having the room painted neutral magnolia with bright pink accents.  Would painting the case be sacrilege and detract from its value? or not?   :vintage:

9
Vintage Machines / Free Motion can damage a machine!
« on: September 26, 2017, 01:14:19 AM »
I've been practicing free motion "embroidery" using the Stoppax darner attachment which came with my Aluminium 201 and the hopper foot I bought from Roger.  It needs a lot more practice to really call it embroidery and it's quite noisy as the Stoppax thingie makes the foot bounce up and down.

However, when I replaced these with the regular straight stitch foot, the needle was directly above the toe of the foot :o and looking at it closely it was clear that the foot was not parallel with the edge of the throat plate, but I couldn't move/rotate it at all, even using pliars.

When I took the face plate off there was a clamp with a screw on the presser bar, just below the pressure spring.  That screw was quite hard to crack, but when it did just a quarter turn was enough to allow the bar and the foot to turn.  So I realigned it, tightened the screw and it's all fine, 0_0 so feeling chuffed with myself that I was able to work out what was wrong, and put it right all by myself!

10
Vintage Machines / 201 skipping stitches
« on: September 16, 2017, 23:17:20 PM »
My older 201 had been sewing very nicely, but this evening I tried putting the buttonholer on and did some test pieces, but it didn't like the tweedy fabric which kept getting caught up.  I tried with feed dogs down and with the cover plate on and I tried both buttonholers, but it just wasn't going right, especially on the second half/going backwards side, and several tangles I ended up breaking a needle and I gave up in disgust.

Now the machine won't even sew a straight row of stitching on plain cotton fabric.   I've re-threaded top and bottom several times, tried two new needles but it's still the same and skips more stitches than it catches.

Have I knocked the timing out? :'(

11
The Cafe / A lovely weekend
« on: September 03, 2017, 21:54:15 PM »
We are now home after a lovely weekend in Warrington for Terry's cousin Rob's wedding - other than the travelling!  The motorways were horrid on Friday, 8 hours including 2 shortish stops to do 230 miles.  Better today but it still took 6 hours due to the congestion in the variable speed limit bit of the M25.

It was to be a civil ceremony in an hotel; they've been together for 20 years or more and both have children and grandchildren from previous marriages but they looked so happy.

We arrived at 6pm on Friday, had dinner with some of Lynn's family and then sat up until 1am chatting with lots of Terry's family including Rob and Lynne.  I was reliably informed that the fabric shop which had closed had reopened under new proprietor. 

The wedding wasn't until 3:30pm on Saturday and being disorganised I still needed to buy a card and some confetti so we walked the couple of miles into the town centre, quite a pleasant walk across a swing bridge over the Manchester ship canal, past a park and along the side of the River Mersey.  I bought the card and confetti, we had a coffee and then walked back and stopping at Julie Hogan Textiles on the way. - It's about 6-7 minutes walk from the hotel!  Not a huge range of fabric, but some dress fabrics and some furnishing fabrics, a fairly good selection of habby, lots of "shabby-chic" type acessories and a couple of vintage sewing machines (Singer 66 for £70, a green Cresta zig-zag with no price ticket and an industial Brother).  I bought a length of grey/pink check fabric for a jacket.  It would have been rude not to buy anything wouldn't it!

Back to hotel with about an hour to kill.  Bride and groom were still mingling with whoever was around, so I popped back to our room to collect the pressie.  "I know you said no gifts, but this was already organised by the time the official invitation arrived" and handed the parcel to them.  Well they wanted to open it with us, and when Lynne saw what it was there was a sharp intake of breath  <3  so I think she really was pleased, and this morning she spoke of it as being an heirloom!   0_0  Rob though, said he couldn't at first work out why it came in pieces :fish:  (quilt and two pillow cases).

The weather was kind so the ceremony was in the courtyard under a gazebo (if that's the right word) which was directly outside of our bedroom window.  After that we had a nice meal followed a disco which wasn't unbearably loud.

Back home now ready to start on the garage conversion - the boiler is being moved tomorrow ready for the builders to start next Monday.  We've also got a new shed arriving on Friday, so the contents of the garage and the old shed are spread around the summer house, the conservatory and the garden.  As Terry said to someone over the weekend, the garden currently looks like Steptoe's yard!

12
In the wardrobe / Seam finishing
« on: August 22, 2017, 12:20:24 PM »
I have just been dong the irioning and now have an empty basket. :angel:  but alas there is more washing in the machine which will soon be in the ironing basket.

The pile included two princess line woven cotton dresses which I made a couple of years ago.  The seams are mostly plain with the edges overlocked to finish the raw edges, like this.  The armscye seam, where sleeve joins to bodice, are finished like this, as I was taught to do.

The open seams are fine in the skirt and other straight areas, but at bust line and mid back where the seams curve they don't lay flat!.  I didn't clip because I was finishing with the overlocker, but it's got me thinking about what would have been a better solution: 
  Trimming seam allowances narrower?
  Overlocking both sides together? 
  French seams? 
  Run and Fell?

I guess it's part of the reason why so much RTW is just stitched and overlocked in one pass even on woven fabrics.

13
I saw this & I thought you may be interested! / 201k Aluminium
« on: August 19, 2017, 20:04:11 PM »
I collected my 'new' machine this afternoon and have been playing familiarising myself with her since.

One of 15,000 released in May 1957 it's in pretty good shape.  A bit of fluff around the bobbin and feed dog area and feels a bit dry and so has had a good dose of oil.  It doesn't run quite as smoothly as my 1949 model - which is maybe too easy it tends to run-on a bit after the pedal is released.  I don't think this one has had anything near as much use as the older one.

It came with a pretty standard box of accessories:
Ruffler, hemmer, edge stitcher, gathering/shirring foot, hemmer foot, binder foot, under-braider and 3 metal screwdrivers and a stiletto.  Also a separate zipper/piping foot, 10 bobbins, 2 guides for attaching to small scissors guide for cutting binding strips (methinks a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler is better!) assorted needles and a spool of shirring elastic - but no 201 instruction book!  And no 1/8" markings on the needle plate :S

Also included was a Stoppax hemstitch fork and a Stoppax darner attachment - I've never seen one of those before but it makes any foot bounce up and down for free motion or can be twisted round and out of use.  Fiddly to attach but can be left in place for regular sewing.  An expensive little bit of coiled metal - in 1955 when purchase tax increased it went up to 5 shillings and 6 pence in UK and currently https://singer-featherweight.com have sold out and they were charging nearly 35 US dollars!

There is also something which I think is a zig-zagger, but it doesn't have a Simanco number, it just says 'Made in Japan'.

All in all not bad for £30.  Worth that for the attachments alone.  0_0

14
Vintage Machines / Vintage Husqvarna
« on: August 11, 2017, 20:37:46 PM »
I have a leaflet/brochure, inherited from a dressmaking tutor in the Adult Ed college where I used to work, outlining the history of Husqvarna sewing machines.  It dates from the 1970s, possibly to celebrate the centenary of their first sewing machine although that's not stated anywhere.  Could be useful if you want to date a Husqvarna/Viking machine.

15
Today... / Monday 24th July
« on: July 24, 2017, 07:26:21 AM »
Morning All.

I'm up early today for summer holiday child minding duties.  We've had overnight rain and it's overcast and still a bit chilly here.

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